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Greek Lyric Poetry

Before epic poetry cohered into the monumental poems attributed to Homer, the musical traditions of Greece constituted a diverse plethora of lyric song. What survives today of this vast song culture is devastatingly fragmentary. Most of these texts were oral compositions performed at drinking parties, known as symposia, and most survived accidentally on a single papyrus fragment. Two centuries ago, many of these classical poets were mere footnotes, but we now know better. In this course, we shall read representative surviving texts of Greek lyric poetry, including works by Sappho, Alcaeus, Archilochus, Hipponax, Theognis, Solon, Anacreon, and Alcman, among many other luminaries of Greece’s earliest enlightenment. For the first class please read all poems by Archilochus and Hipponax from M. L. West’s translation of Greek Lyric Poetry (ISBN 9780199540396). This will be the primary text for the duration of the course.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • Increased cultural literacy
  • Familiarity with the diversity of ancient Greek lyric poetry and song

Ideal for

  • All members of the community—working, retired, and in-between
  • Professionals who use creative thinking
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.